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George Mason Basketball: previews Mason at #66 in their top 144 team countdown

Thursday, September 24, 2009 previews Mason at #66 in their top 144 team countdown is in the middle of their top 144 teams for 2009-10 countdown and have tabbed Mason at #66 in the country (#2 in the CAA). Like other previews they note the teams youth and inexperience but seem to like to potential for growth during the season that turns into dividends late. I agree with this assessment but I just don't know how long this growth could take. On paper the talent is near tops in the CAA but how Larranaga uses that talent I think will have a great impact on this year's squad. For instance, we know freshmen Johnny Williams and Sherrod Wright can score but can they defend at this level? How much did Kevin Foster improve from his season as a redshirt? Is Cam Long running the point full time or will Andre Cornelius handle most of those duties? Who can will fill in at the guard spots left vacant by John Vaughan and Dre Smith? Those questions could be answered earlier than we think. I believe the main difference between this year's squad and last year's will be the depth. The team won't be leaning on the starters too heavily as the quality on the bench could be the teams strongest asset.

I find the preview to be a little misguided, mostly because the writer seems to think freshman Paris Bennett will be a starter. Even if I overlooked the fact that Coach Larranaga almost never starts true freshman early I wouldn't project Bennett to even get more playing time then Johnny Williams or Sherrod Wright. That is also not taking into account redshirt freshman Kevin Foster, who I could definitely see starting early because of his knowledge of Larranaga's system and his versatility. Coach L has mentioned that Foster can play almost anywhere on the floor but that remains to be seen. I really don't see how Mike Morrison could be left out the starting lineup, especially with how he finished late last season. But Coach L rarely boosts lineups that include three forwards, so a starting lineup including Birdsong, Pearson and Morrison seems unlikely.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that is one of George Mason's main problems: "Coach L rarely boosts lineups that include three forwards." This presents no problems when Mason faces opponents such as Delaware, Georgia State, or Hoftstra, because Mason's guards have traditionally been so fast they can run circles around these teams. However, when Mason faces CAA power houses such as VCU or ODU later in the season, Mason lacks the size, strength, and agility underneath to push around strong men like Larry Sanders. This can really be seen in the post season. Because Mason is usually seeded high against a potent ACC or Big East team in the first round, we often struggle with a 3 guard lineup that lacks SIZE. Incorporate Morrison and Johnny Williams into the lineup immediately, Birdsong is the weakest link..........

-06' alumni

4:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suppose Birdsong can be the "Chris Fleming," (role player) for Coach L this season. What a way to spend your senior year!

10:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep going down in the post to Ryan Pearson. He is a beast (in the kindest sense.) He scores or is fouled most of the time. He has so many low post moves.

3:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But will Ryan pass it out when there are no opportunities to score? We will see......

4:51 PM  

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